sn’t this the question of all mystery? What should you start out with? We have been approached by our friends at Organized survival prepper and they posed this question for us to provide our input. You can find it posted here. We are honored to have been included and we hope you are ready for some “stuff”. Grab a drink and some popcorn because this may take a bit.
If you ask five different preparedness folks this question, there is a high possibility you will get five different answers. There are many factors to incorporate into this equation such as the number of people you are preparing for, the region you live in, your skill level (first aid training, self defense, etc.), and last but not least… your budget. So I will not tell you that there is one-size fits all when it comes to preparedness. While there are basics you will need no matter what, the amounts and types will vary for each situation. So let’s get started with what I feel are the top three items for the New Prepper.
Let’s talk about the basic necessities to sustain life; Water, Food, and Shelter. I’m not trying to insult anyone, but you will see where I am going with this. You have the Rule of 3′s in which you can survive 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without securing your body’s core temperature, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food. This is something you can take to the bank, so you should base your decisions on this philosophy. Let’s break down the three categories I have listed:
Water – As you can see you can go approximately 3 days without it. This does not mean that you will immediately die at the end of the third day (because everyone’s physical makeup is different), it means you will deteriorate quickly without it. Water is a commodity and you should treat it as such. Now if you are planning on staying put (if you don’t have to bug out), then you should have an adequate supply of water for you and each person in your family. If you have to leave and are unable to carry a large amount of water with you, then you will need to pre-plan your route to have water sources nearby. The most important part of this is having CLEAN water. Just having water isn’t enough, it needs to be clean. Because water with contaminates or parasites in it will kill you just the same. The inexpensive route for water purification would be drops or tablets. But if you have the funds to spare, a Steripen or Katadyn portable purification system would be great in a bug out bag. While there is a formula of (x) amount of water per person, that usually includes water for hygienic purposes. If survival is the goal here, being groomed for a hot date should be the last thing on your to-do list.
Food – You can go a long time without food. Though it (hunger and malnutrition) will greatly diminish your ability to perform tasks, make good decisions, etc., you can survive without food. We should avoid this at all costs. Stock up little by little in your home. Always remember to rotate your food so you don’t have a bunch of expired goods sitting in your pantry. Again, if a bug-out situation occurs, you will need to have enough food in your gear to sustain each person in your group. High caloric bars and meal packs such as the ones by Wise foods and other companies are good choices due to shelf life. Also, don’t forget that if you live in an area with wildlife, you may want to obtain the necessary tools for hunting and dressing. During times of distress, people start to lose their minds about how they will feed themselves and loved ones. Don’t make this mistake.
Shelter – I consider this and water to be your top priorities. If you live in a region with extreme climate (either heat or cold), you can succumb a lot quicker to the elements more than anything else. Having a stocked closet or bug out bag isn’t going to mean squat if your freeze to death or fall out due to heat stroke. So making sure your home or wherever you plan on riding out the situation is good enough to keep you safe from the elements is a good start. But you also need to have some gear in your go bag if you are going to have to rough it for some time. You can go from a really simple tent that cost less than $10.00 to an extravagant camping hammock that will be over $200.00. This depends on you, your locale, and your situation. You should always have something to keep you warm like an emergency blanket (space blanket) or sleeping bag liner at the least. Also, some sort of a half shelter like a tarp or rain fly would be great to keep you and others dry and out of the elements. One aspect of shelter that is often overlooked is clothing. Keeping extra clothing with you is detrimental for folks in certain locales. In hot and humid areas, wearing cotton will kill you. You will regulate body temp better in synthetics. For cold areas, layering and Gore-Tex are golden. So take the time and study this. It could save your life one day